LTP: Creating a 30-year masterplan for EA Networks Centre

Published: 17 April 2024

EA Networks Centre turns 10 years old next year, so it’s the right time to look at how the Council-owned sport and pool facility could be developed in the future.

A 30-year Masterplan is out now for consultation, alongside the draft Long Term Plan, and proposed additions include extending the stadium, building a new outdoor pool, two hockey turfs, two multi-use sports fields and a solar farm that would generate enough electricity to power the whole place.

Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown said the Riverside location was originally chosen way back in 2007 because of its potential for further development.

“The site, building design and land bought by Council were all made with an eye to the future and now we want to hear from the community about what we are proposing there.

“We know that the centre is well used and valued by the community. It contributes to our physical wellbeing and our economic wellbeing when big events are held there. We want the best outcome for generations to come so we need a plan that is logical, supported by the community and keeps the centre relevant to our people.”

The proposed 30-year plan out for feedback was created after talks with local sporting groups about their current and future needs. Those discussions were supplemented by a utilisation study of sports facilities and Council land across the district.

Mayor Brown said the research showed some areas of the EA Networks Centre were already being used at capacity during peak times and the growth of some sports was suffering.

“So we’re talking about increasing indoor court space and adding activities like a mini golf course.

“It's important to note though, that this plan is just a vision. The stadium court extension and an outdoor pool area are currently being consulted on in our current draft Long Term Plan and could be built in the next few years, however other features of the Masterplan could take many years to develop - and only when our growing district requires them.

“These later projects would be publicly consulted on in future Long Term Plans before being given the green light.”

Future plans include an additional vehicle entrance, more car parking, spectator stand and seating, and a playground, alongside the new playing fields, new indoor courts and pool.

Smaller projects in 2024-25 include widening the vehicle entrance off River Terrace and reconfiguring office space to create a dance studio, and long-term projects include extending the stadium by three courts and adding another pool.

You can find more information about the proposed 30-year Masterplan at, and you also give feedback until 28 April.

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